I Was Burned-Out: Part 1
I Was Burned-Out...
In yesterday's post, I told you I would be writing every day this week about the book that changed my outlook on my life and career and sent me on a journey that did not turn out the way I had planned or hoped at the time. I didn't know it then, but the failure that quickly followed my choices taught me a lot of things about myself and my growth as a professional. I am going to share Part 1 of those findings with you today.
You may be where I was before I left my teaching position and students that I loved. I was completely burned out to the point of unlightability (is that a word?). I left my classroom and my school with the intention of NEVER, and I mean NEVER returning. What inspired me to make this choice?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen Covey
This book is not about education, but I simply MADE it about my experiences and what I wanted out of my career as an educator and out of life. When I did that, I knew that where I was at the time was not going to offer me the opportunity for growth that I needed. I saw no other way to grow than to simply leave. I took the first opportunity and RAN. That decision led me to both failure AND to a refreshing, positive environment that turned me into the match that is second from the right. My fire is small now, but I want to light YOUR matches, my friends.
Habit 1: BE PROACTIVE
I was tired of not only complaining about the constant drama that was occurring around me at my school, but being around it. Although I was surrounded by amazing teachers, we were all complaining all day, every day. I decided, after reading this chapter, that I had had enough. I was going to be proactive. I wanted out of the drama. Completely. I immediately started looking for a way out. And I found it.
I left my teaching position for another position within an educational non-profit that within 6 months, failed because of lack of financial stability. I was again beaten down and at an even lower point in my life. There I was, a teacher who quit in the middle of the year, to take a position that lasted only 6 months. Who was going to hire a quitter????
Then, I got a call that both relieved and terrified me. I had made so many incredible impressions on so many people while at the non-profit, that a principal from a different district than I worked at before heard about my need for a job. He had one. I interviewed, reluctantly. I got it. And here I am.
My story is not special, but that's what makes it important. I know that I was not alone in my struggle to change the way I felt about my life. My past decisions have led me to my present. No one did it for me. I want you to be where I am now. I became the master of my own career destiny. I was proactive when I decided to leave a place that continually devalued me as a teacher and as a person. Although, my choice to leave led me to a big fail, I never would have ended up where I am today without taking that risk.
BE PROACTIVE. It doesn't matter if you are a new teacher, awaiting the call for your first teaching position or a veteran who is leaving work drained to your core because of the toxic environment that you drag yourself into each day. Take steps now to make sure that you continue to be BURNED-IN. The first step is to seek growth. Look for other opportunities. You are worth it. Your students are worth it.
7 Habits changed my life. I strongly encourage you to click the link above and buy it or go to your library and check it out today. Either way, read it, digest it, and use its power to change your life now.
As always, comment below or search for me on Twitter @burnedinteacher or email any questions on topics you would like me to write about in the future at firstname.lastname@example.org.